motherhood and family
From Fly Girl To...Mom7/24/2012
We were not trying to get pregnant but we definitely weren’t trying not to get pregnant either. ...
Before my son I would get up and run a steamy shower. Standing under the flow of near scalding hot water I would take a deep breath, let the water gently beat down on my face and chest to allow it to wake and relax me in preparation for a new day. Freshly showered and wrapped in a towel, I’d stand in my brightly lit vanity mirror, put in my clear contacts, paint some beautiful earth-tone shadows on my eyelids, extend my lashes, gloss my lips and take all the time I’d need to make sure my afro looked perfect. Finally, I’d put on a nice pencil skirt with a fitted top and some killer heels. My favorite was a red, high-waisted skirt that hugged every curve on my size 0 frame (don’t think being a size 0 means an absence of curves!) I’d wear it with a ruffled black top that was cut just low enough to entice the boys, and top it off with some 4 inch, peep toe leopard print stilettos.
After hours, you would have probably found me sitting Indian style in a big leather chair, seated in the window at my favorite Starbucks with my MacBook for editing photos, an iPod for rocking out and/or a journal for releasing. Just before getting pregnant, I had a brush cut that I dyed red. I got two piercings: my nose and the other--a hood piercing. I was sexy and confident. But, somewhere I lost that.
Read: Do Black Women Give Too Much?
Somewhere between waking up every 2-3 hours to nurse my son and trying to salvage what few minutes of sleep I could I lost the Fly Girl in me. I gave her over to the sleep deprived mommy in me. I forsook her for a few fleeting moments of rest. But does it have to be that way? Can’t I be a Fly Girl and a mommy? A Fly mommy?! These days I lack the energy to put much effort into what I’m wearing.
I remember my last attempt. I skinny jeaned and pumped it up but still felt flat. Clearly, it didn’t work. My nose and hood piercings have closed. The stilettos I once wore have been replaced by flats. Fitted skirts replaced by shapeless, floor length dresses—cute maxi dresses--but shapeless none the less. Exhausted from the restless night before, I drag myself out of bed for work every day and fight to stay awake.
Read: I Hate Being A Stay-At-Home Mom
After hours these days, you’re most likely to find me at home in a t-shirt and some sweats sitting on the floor or on the couch playing with my son. I try to turn back the hands of time and be the woman that first drew my partner in.
I remember he’d get to the car or to where I was sitting and look at me with this mischievous grin on his face. I loved it! Joan Morgan writes in her book, “When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost”, of how much of a total drag it would be to not have a man “roam his eyes longingly over all the intended places.” Brian did that, and I ate up every second. It felt good to know the man I desired had a desire for me as well. I hardly ever get that look anymore. I mean, he’s good at telling me I’m pretty and that he thinks I’m amazing but I have a hard time feeling that way.
Recently, I stood with my head resting on his chest and cried. He didn’t realize I was crying until he lifted my face to kiss me. He asked what was wrong and I explained that I feel like an old maid. I never hang out with my friends anymore. I never get dressed up anymore and I never really go anywhere without my son. The only constant is that I’m almost always sure I don’t have plans to party or do anything recreational on any given weekend. I’m 31! That’s far too young to be an old maid!
You should know I definitely enjoy my son. There is nothing greater than the joy of seeing his smiling face and watching him grow! I love being a mother. But, I am also a woman trying to salvage her individuality and not allow being a mommy to overshadow my dreams, aspirations or hobbies.
I know that my tale is no different than any other mother that has a small child, but this is hard for me--this transition from fly to mom. I haven’t quite yet learned how to be a fly mom. I will wake up tomorrow put on my pencil skirt, my heels, do my makeup and remind myself all day long that I AM A FIERCE, I AM BEAUTIFUL and I AM A FLY MOM. Or, better yet, remind myself that these things are true no matter what I wear.